At what point does “cutting edge” become “expected standard”? Unfortunately, in the world of e-commerce, that transition can happen extremely quickly. First, a convenience innovation appears, and it’s never long before consumers view anything less as an inconvenience.
These eCommerce innovations are upending traditional industries (Uber for taxis, Airbnb for hospitality) by taking the efficiency and convenience provided by tech and applying them to real-world services.
Why is E-Commerce Technology so Prevalent?
The business sector with the most “unicorn” startups in e-commerce and the second-largest in internet software and services. Startup “unicorns” are defined as a company less than ten years old and valued at over one billion dollars. The numbers in the U.S. speak for themselves: most wildly successful new businesses are either in e-commerce directly or use e-commerce tools to make a booking and order through apps or online more efficiently.
Consumers are making their voices heard. Indeed, most recent business and technology trends are focused on ways to interact directly with customers and provide them with even more convenient options via IoT and app innovations.
With one-click purchasing, voice ordering, in-app purchasing, and other features, it’s getting harder to convince users to convert using more traditional methods.
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Keeping Up and Catching Up
The fact is that despite the prevalence of services like Airbnb, the demand for more traditional services — in this case, hotels — won’t go away. People are still attracted to the luxury, experience, and service that those services offer, and this applies across many industries, not just hospitality.
Sticking with the hospitality service example, how can hotels keep up with shifting expectations to keep modern guests happy, even though their business model is entirely different from a tech company?
It’s still very possible to give guests the kind of efficiency and convenience they have come to expect by providing a few integrated digital services on-site and making booking easier. Hospitality is one industry where expectation creeps — the gradual increase in guests’ expectations for efficient and technologically advanced services — has caught many owners off-guard. In some cases, it might be a good idea to digitize certain services so that guests can, for example, check-in digitally without having to spend time at the reception. On the other hand, remember that human interaction and personalized service are part of the appeal of traditional businesses over tech companies.
The secret is in combining personal service with active trends in e-commerce, like integrating mobile devices into how guests interact with the business. That gives them choices about how to curate their own experience.
Non-Tech Companies Can Still Make Use of Data
No matter your business, tracking data about how users interact with you, who they are, and what they prefer is the best way to optimize your business and keep up. Companies that don’t focus on tech can do this, too, thanks to the rise of self-serve and full-service cloud software companies. In addition, you don’t need to onboard an entire IT department to do it anymore.
Business owners can even take advantage of emerging AI technology to analyze all that data a breeze through those services. Moreover, this tech-integrated data gathering can even help improve the experience for customers who prefer to interact with businesses in less technological ways, for example, speaking over the phone. The metrics that can be tracked include call conversions on websites, email, and physical mailing list signups. So put, you don’t have to force your customers who like interacting with legacy systems to update their practices to stay current with technology or benefit customers who prefer a technologically advanced and streamlined experience.
User demand for the convenience and efficiency offered by e-commerce technology isn’t going away. However, you don’t have to alienate consumers who dislike it to keep up. Instead, consider e-commerce tech just another set of tools in the marketing and user experience arsenal.